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Biden signs ‘wartime’ COVID-19 executive orders, imposing national mask mandate on public transportation

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced 10 new executive orders as part of his administration’s “wartime” strategy against the COVID-19 pandemic, including an interstate mask mandate and an invocation of the Defense Production Act to resupply PPE, coronavirus tests, and vaccines.

The actions demonstrate Biden’s willingness to use the power of the federal government to engage in a top-down management of the coronavirus pandemic, departing from the Trump administration’s willingness to let the states manage the virus according to their local needs with support from the federal government.

“Our national strategy is comprehensive, it’s based on science, not politics. It’s based on truth, not denial, and it’s detailed,” Biden said, speaking from the White House.

The president’s announcement was accompanied by the release of a 200-page document detailing Biden’s plan published to the White House website.

Acknowledging that the national coronavirus death toll will likely reach 500,000 people next month, Biden explained that the goals of his executive orders are to increase testing for the virus, accelerate the deployment of vaccines, and restore trust with the American people. Biden declared his desire to vaccinate more people and safely reopen schools, businesses, and travel.

“Our national plan launches a full-scale wartime effort to address the supply shortages by ramping up production and protective equipment, syringes, needles, you name it,” Biden said. “And when I say wartime, people kind of look at me like ‘wartime?’ Well, as I said last night, 400,000 Americans have died. That’s more than have died in all of World War II. 400,000. This is a wartime undertaking.”

After announcing his plan, Biden signed 10 executive orders, memorandums, and directives to implement it. According to CNBC, the orders include:

  • Mandating masks on public transportation, including trains, buses, and aircraft.
  • Requiring international travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering the U.S. and mandating quarantine upon arrival.
  • Compelling companies under the Defense Production Act to produce PPE, coronavirus tests, and administer vaccines.
  • Providing more funding for state and local governments to create vaccination sites and launch a national public relations campaign to support vaccination efforts.
  • Creating a COVID-19 Response Office to coordinate the pandemic response across multiple federal agencies and collect data to share across the government.
  • Continuing research into new treatments for COVID-19.
  • Establishing a new pandemic testing board to research and develop new more rapid tests and ready them for use.
  • Ordering the Department of Health and Human Services to collect data on school reopenings and evaluate the risks of sending children back to school.
  • Establishing a “COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force” to ensure that minority communities are not disproportionally under-serviced by the government .
To fund these executive orders, Biden is calling on Congress to pass a new $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which will include $350 billion in state and local government aid, $170 billion for K-12 schools and colleges and universities, $50 billion for COVID testing, and $20 billion for a national vaccine program.
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Sen. Tom Cotton: Biden’s day one executive actions put ‘American workers last’

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Thursday blasted President Joe Biden’s day one executive actions, accusing the president of “putting American workers last.”

Appearing on Fox News with host Harris Faulkner, Cotton took aim at Biden’s executive actions on immigration, climate change, and other reversals of President Donald Trump’s policies he said were detrimental to the United States.

“I think the scale of Joe Biden’s executive orders and the impact they have on Americans is pretty stark,” Cotton said. “The president preached unity from the inaugural stand and then in the Oval Office he signed executive orders on immigration that would stop construction of the border wall and give work permits to millions of illegal immigrants in our country, putting American workers last, putting foreigners first.”

Cotton also criticized Biden for revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, preventing an estimated 60,000 jobs from being created “simply because the Democratic Party disfavors those kinds of jobs.”

“He ended the travel ban on countries like Syria not because we can all of a sudden vet Syrians coming into this country, make sure they’re not a threat or make sure that they don’t carry the coronavirus, but because again the Democrats wanted to signal their virtue that they’re going to reverse everything Donald Trump did regardless of its impact on the American people,” he continued.

“This is a bad way to start the administration.”

After assuming office on Wednesday, President Biden took no fewer than 17 executive actions fulfilling campaign promises to stop construction of a border wall, end President Trump’s travel bans to countries known for Islamic extremism, rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and stop plans to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline, among other progressive priorities like reinstating federal diversity training based on critical race theory and protecting transgender Americans with anti-discrimination laws.

With Democrats in full control of Congress, holding a majority in the House and a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris in the 50-50 Senate, many progressives are calling on Biden to enact a bold progressive agenda anathema to Republicans. But according to Politico, President Biden wants his first major legislative initiative, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, to pass with Republican support.

Asked about whether Republicans would support additional COVID-19 relief, Cotton agreed with the need for bipartisanship, but made statements that suggest Democrats will have difficulty getting Republicans to sign on to any package that goes beyond providing additional aid for vaccine distribution.

“We should try to have bipartisan cooperation,” Cotton said, mentioning bipartisan relief packages that Congress passed last year. He stopped short of endorsing Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan, which includes provisions for a $15 minimum-wage and other policies opposed by Republicans.

“I don’t think we should move forward with a huge budget that would really just fulfill a lot of longstanding Democratic wishes, not specifically address the needs the American people have because of this once in a century pandemic,” he added.

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Biden set to use 17 executive actions on day one to stop border wall construction, rejoin Paris climate deal, launch racial equity initiative, and more

President-elect Joe Biden plans to issue a flurry of executive actions — 17 of them to be exact — in the first hours of his presidency in an attempt to undo much of what President Donald Trump accomplished over the last four years.

The 17 executive actions, 15 of which are executive orders, generally address what the transition team has billed as “four overlapping and compounding crises: the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis.”

Senior officials in the incoming Biden administration reportedly characterized the blitz of unilateral action as an “undoing” or “reversing” of Trump-era policies they believe were “harmful” or “inhumane.”

Included in the list of actions are the termination of border wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border, rejoining the Paris climate agreement, and launching a “whole-of-government” racial equity initiative.

Biden will also reportedly re-engage with the World Health Organization, launch a nationwide masking challenge, and reverse Trump’s ban on travel from certain Muslim nations.

According to CNBC, the complete list of day one executive actions goes as follows:

  • Launch a “100 Days Masking Challenge” and Leading by Example in the Federal Government
  • Re-Engage with the World Health Organization to Make Americans and the World Safer
  • Structure Our Federal Government to Coordinate a Unified National Response [to COVID-19]
  • Extend Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums
  • Extend Student Loan Pause
  • Rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • Roll Back President Trump’s Environmental Actions in Order to Protect Public Health and the Environment and Restore Science
  • Launch a Whole-of-Government Initiative to Advance Racial Equity
  • Reverse President Trump’s Executive Order Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from the Reapportionment Count
  • Preserve and Fortify Protections for Dreamers
  • Reverse the Muslim Ban
  • Repeal of Trump Interior Enforcement Executive Order
  • Stop Border Wall Construction
  • Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians Presidential Memorandum
  • Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
  • Executive Branch Personnel Ethics Executive Order
  • Regulatory Process Executive Order and Presidential Memorandum
The day one executive actions will kickstart what is set to be a busy first 10 days in office for the 46th president, according to incoming Biden chief of staff Ron Klain, who outlined Biden’s policy plans in a memo sent to staff on Saturday.
“In his first 10 days in office, President-elect Biden will take decisive action to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain wrote in the memo.
Biden will reportedly introduce a “groundbreaking legislative package” tackling immigration reform and providing a pathway to citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants.
According to USA Today, over the next week Biden will also issue executive actions to “advance equity and support communities of color and other underserved communities” as well as implement criminal justice reforms and health care reform particularly for low-income women and women of color.
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Biden’s ‘DAY ONE’ executive orders: Paris accord, Keystone pipeline, mask mandates & more

The incoming Biden administration plans to waste no time in overturning much of the progress achieved by President Donald Trump.

On his radio program Monday, Glenn Beck ran through 10 executive orders President Joe Biden plans to announce on “day one” of his time in office — including rejoining the Paris climate accord, canceling the Keystone pipeline, mask mandates on federal land and during interstate travel, and a proposed federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Watch the video below:

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‘This is really dangerous’: Glenn Beck blasts Left’s apparent plans to UNRAVEL Trump’s victories

Pfizer has announced a possible 90% effective COVID-19 vaccine, and now, with Joe Biden projected to win the election, the Left seems to be trying to make sure the former vice president gets credit for the Trump administration-backed vaccine.

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck pointed out how CNN and MSNBC have suddenly gone quiet about the virus, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) even went so far as to lament that the promising breakthrough vaccine came “two months before Joe Biden takes over.”

In a Monday morning interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Cuomo told host George Stephanopoulos, “The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over, and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan.”

He went on to add, “You have two months, and we can’t let this vaccination plan go forward the way the Trump administration is designing it because Biden can’t undo it two months later, We’ll be in the midst of it. And I’m going — I’ve been talking to governors across the nation about that. How can we shape the Trump administration vaccine plan to fix it or stop it before it does damage.”

Cuomo isn’t alone in making plans for big changes under a Biden presidency. Even if Republicans keep power in the Senate, Biden has vowed to immediately use executive action to reverse some of President Trump’s biggest victories. On day one, he’s planning to take actions like rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, reversing travel bans, and overturning the current ban on federal agencies teaching critical race theory, according to the New York Times.

“This is really dangerous,” Glenn said of the series of executive orders Biden apparently has planned.

“We have those things to really look forward to and I’m super, super excited about that,” he added sarcastically.

Get Glenn’s take in the video clip below:

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